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is our Military bankrupt?

Astroboy

TRIBE Member
Canada's army, navy and air force are facing a funding shortfall of up to half a billion dollars, defence sources told the National Post, and the military is recommending drastic measures to make up the difference, including closing some of the largest bases in the country.

The federal government is stalling the release of internal documents that outline the looming financial crisis, but military sources said the reports indicate that in the fiscal year beginning on April 1, the air force expects to be $150-million short of funds needed to fulfill its commitments, the navy will be $150-million shy of its needs and the army will be as much as $200-million short.

The figures were submitted to General Ray Henault, the Chief of Defence Staff, last month by the heads of the land staff, the maritime staff and the air staff in anticipation of this year's defence budget.

The military sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the reports foresee a situation so dire that they recommend curtailing operations, dry-docking ships and mothballing vehicles or aircraft and closing at least four Canadian Forces bases.

Unless additional funding is awarded by the government, the air force is suggesting closing bases at Goose Bay, Nfld., Bagotville, Que., North Bay and Winnipeg, the sources said.

Further, the air force report says that unless its fleet of ageing CC-130 Hercules transport planes is replaced or modernized, the main transport base at Trenton should be closed within 10 years. "There won't be enough Hercs flying by then to justify keeping that base open," one air force source said.

The navy predicts it will not be able to live up to treaty obligations to NATO and other alliances and cannot carry out enough patrols of Canadian waters to comply with agreements with other government departments such as Immigration Canada or Fisheries and Oceans.

"We will not be able to meet our domestic defence obligations," one naval officer said.

The army is said to be in the worst financial state of all three branches of the Canadian Forces. "Everyone knows that the army's broke and has been for a couple of years," said one military source familiar with the reports.

Colonel Howard Marsh, a former senior army staff officer now working as an analyst for the Conference of Defence Associations, said he was not surprised by the size of the shortfall.

"This is a look forward ... at what they need in order to keep the army going," he said. "Nobody has ever seen a bankrupt military in a developed country.... This year I predict we will see that in Canada."

Col. Marsh said the military is saddled with ageing bases and increasingly dilapidated buildings that are fast reaching the point of collapse. "What they've been doing, year in and year out ... is not replace or repair those buildings, or buy new equipment," he said.

"The average age of the equipment in the Canadian Forces is over 20 years and it hasn't been well-maintained."

The Liberal government reduced defence spending by 23% and cut the number of regular military personnel to approximately 60,000 from 80,000 between 1993 and 2000. There were 120,000 people in the Canadian military in 1958.

In 2003, the defence budget was increased $800-million to $12.7-billion, the single largest increase since the Liberals came to power. But that still left the total below that of 1991, when the Mulroney Conservatives committed troops to the Gulf War and the defence budget stood at $12.8-billion.

Jay Hill, the Conservative defence critic, said the reports outline the result of more than a decade of Liberal cuts to the Canadian Forces.

"They shouldn't even be in this position," he said. "They shouldn't be having to look for nickel and dime savings when the government is blowing hundreds of millions on sponsorship programs."

Mr. Hill called on the government to make the three reports available immediately. "This flies in the face of this Prime Minister's stated commitment to being open and transparent," he said.

The Department of National Defence has refused to make public the annual reports, known as command impact assessments.

Defence officials this week turned down a request by the National Post and the influential defence publication Jane's Defence Weekly to see the reports under access to information legislation.

Judith Mooney, the director of access to information for the Department of National Defence, said the reports will not be made public for another three to five weeks because they are considered "draft" documents.

"I exercised my discretion to withhold the documents until the [Defence] Department's business-planning process is complete, at which time they will be released," she said.

Ms. Mooney could not say when exactly the reports would be released, but indicated they would be available by the end of March.

Although that would delay them until after the release of the federal budget, which is expected on March 23, she said David Pratt, the Defence Minister, was not involved in the decision to withhold the reports until then. Mr. Pratt did not reply to repeated requests for comment on the reports.

In previous years, the assessments have been made public.

This year's reports paint a picture even more bleak than last year's, which said the military would be unable to sustain itself without additional resources or a reduced workload.

They were the basis for a story last year in Jane's Defence Weekly, the prestigious London-based magazine, which caused a furor in Canadian and NATO defence circles. Under the headline "Running on Empty," the story said the army, navy and air force did not receive the money they needed.

The article said the navy asked for an additional $50-million to bridge the funding gap, but received only $6.7-million. The air force expected a $104-million shortfall but received about $7-million. The army had a larger gap between what was expected of it and the funding available, and received $85-million in extra money.

Major-General Terry Hearn, the chief of finance for the Canadian Forces, acknowledged the military has had "issues" with funding over the past four years.

But he said the department is implementing a long-term plan to stabilize its finances. "We'll become sustainable over the next couple of years," he said. "We have long-term strategies to deal with these issues ... [but] we're not going to solve them next year."

Peter Stoffer, a New Democrat MP whose Nova Scotia riding includes a large military base, called the government's refusal to release the reports "very suspicious."

"If anyone out there honestly believes that access to information will be any easier under this government, they are fooling themselves," he said. "They say one thing and do another."

http://www.canada.com/national/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=97f7dbbe-981a-4085-9686-e87fab611fbb
 
Stop Bill C-10

JAR

TRIBE Member
I think our government has resigned itself to the fact that we will one day be annexed/fully controlled by the USA, and therefore it is pointless to boost the military's budget.

Sovereignty? Ours is already completely walked over on a daily basis...so what's the point?

Security? We already rely on the USA for that.

Global Influence?
 
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Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Okay 60,000 troupes seems reasonable enough, its not like we're at war or anything.

These are reasonably well trained and reasonably well equiped. Yeah I would expect expences to be a little high this year, but I think everyone did.



Why would we want a 120,000 person army?
 
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Dr Funk MD

TRIBE Promoter
Originally posted by JAR
I think our government has resigned itself to the fact that we will one day be annexed/fully controlled by the USA, and therefore it is pointless to boost the military's budget.

Sovereignty? Ours is already completely walked over on a daily basis...so what's the point?

Security? We already rely on the USA for that.

Global Influence?
The US isn't going to annex us. I hope you're just kidding.

I understand that the military has many uses besides blowing up people and fighting wars but I think it's about time that we scaled it back even more. Canada hasn't been attacked since 1812 or something like that and there are no real threats to us as a country. The days of world wars are gone. We'll never see war fought like that again. Smaller armies fighting very narrow targets are how wars are fought now.

Canada does some very good peace keeping work and an army is important in times of national crisis like forest fires, floods and winter blizzards but I think we could do without a large part of our miliary system. We should declare outselves neutral and remove ourselves from the actual fighting part of war.

Spend that money on education and grow some thinkers instead of fighters.
 
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Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
I go one step further and suggest we no longer need to be the ones with the honour of peace keeping. Pakistan and Chille are doing very well in international forces. Bangledesh has come a long way.

I think the period of needing first world peace keepers is over. We should most deffinately be providing exertise and resource, but Canada with 30,000,000 people doesn't need to provide peace keepers when india has 30 times that.

Having peace keepers from a more similar socio economic background makes more sense. I think it is easier for the host country as well.
 
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Dr Funk MD

TRIBE Promoter
I've also heard stories of the rampent homosexuality (some of them ARE lovers) and cronic alchohol related deaths. They're a very diverse group.

I have a great story my friend told me about her friends hatred of Wednesday because that's his day to be "the barrel man".
 

judge wopner

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Dr Funk MD


Canada does some very good peace keeping work and an army is important in times of national crisis like forest fires, floods and winter blizzards but I think we could do without a large part of our miliary system. We should declare outselves neutral and remove ourselves from the actual fighting part of war.

Spend that money on education and grow some thinkers instead of fighters.

sorry but thats very wishy washy.

for a g7 nation, a first world nation, a NATO member, a UN member, we should have a workable standing military for more than just emergency police work and fores fires.

we have troops in afganistan who are ill equipped, we are not fullfilling our obligations to NATO. thats embarassing, considering we helped to form it and signed the treaty. it makes us look stupid.

we need a navy to transport this army around and guard waters from illegal human smuggling.

you need a decent sized standing force in the event something happens you can mobilize them while you train others and/or protect our vast homeland.

its a worse case scenario, but at the end of the day, and first world nation must be ready to defend itself at least nominally and extend that protection to other UN countries in need, in keeping with the UN mandate.
 

Dr Funk MD

TRIBE Promoter
Originally posted by judge wopner
its a worse case scenario, but at the end of the day, and first world nation must be ready to defend itself at least nominally and extend that protection to other UN countries in need, in keeping with the UN mandate.

If a UN nation ever came under attack it would probably be from another UN country. But it's not like there is some axis of evil out there who's fighing against us. Most conflicts these days come from petty squabling from religious factions who are hell bent on distroying one another. I don't think Canada needs to be getting involved every time one of these groups starts flinging rocks at the other.

There are no warring superpowers, there is no threat of massive war anywhere in the world nor will there be any time soon. The only country who's got the power to draw a large portion of the industrialized world in to a full on conflict is the USA and they're too busy waving their cocks in the faces of everyone in the middle east to start something like that.

I'm not saying the military should be complete disbanded (immediately) because, like you said, there are border issues to look after and we do have an obligation to the UN right now, but a long term phasing out of our peace keeping efforts for the UN should begin soon in my opinion.
 

Lurker

TRIBE Member
We have gained a lot of international respect and credibility for our Peacekeeping role, especially when other nations see that our troops are underfunded and underequipped. This hasn't gone un-noticed.

We need to remain involved to some degree. We probably don't need troops in Cyprus anymore (I'm not sure if they are still there, but they were 7 years ago). We can scale back in some areas, and keep a good core group of well equiped well trained troops for just this purpose.

Paul
 

FC St. Pauli

TRIBE Member
man - sitting on the line in Cyprus was one of the greatest things we did

kept the pot from boiling over with decades of patience

now Cyprus may be peacefully re-unifying and joining the EU as a whole

we need to be able to do stuff like that

we have the money compared to others - we are obligated
 
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judge wopner

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by FC St. Pauli
man - sitting on the line in Cyprus was one of the greatest things we did

kept the pot from boiling over with decades of patience

now Cyprus may be peacefully re-unifying and joining the EU as a whole

we need to be able to do stuff like that

we have the money compared to others - we are obligated

you got it buddy!!

saying other countries should contribute to peacekeeping is like suggesting we cut or reduce our foreign aid and charitable work as we have done enough, and let india do it....

as if Pakistani military force has the respect and trust that a NATO member such as canada would garner.

there are far too many conflicts a mulim/pakistani force could not neutraly enter into. and considering the serious tension b/w them and india, i dont think either nation has any business sending troops to mind the peace in other nation while the peace of their own nation lies on very very fragile ground.

and the fact that people see our forces in harms way, undermanned and underfunded gives us no respect, it make s us look like complete fools.

who would like to see more troops come home in body bags while our govt. withholds money for proper equipment for these guys in harms way.
 

Robb G

TRIBE Promoter
Originally posted by Ditto Much
Okay 60,000 troupes seems reasonable enough, its not like we're at war or anything.?


-There are more police officers in New York City then troops in the Canadian army.

-Our soldiers are using outdated and unsafe jeeps, helicopters and all kinds of other equipment.

-We sent our soldiers to the desert with green "camouflage" fatigues because we didn't have/couldn't afford the brown ones that would actually BE camouflage in the desert. They are wearing brown boots but green fatigues in Afghanistan

-With the government’s new order of medium armour military vehicles and abandonment of our tanks makes Canada the only country in the G8 without heavy armoured vehicles.

-When Canada decides to participate in any overseas mission, peacekeeping or otherwise we have to get permission from the US government to rent their big transport planes as we do not have the means to transport our equipment when needed. Which in the past has meant not being able to partake in missions that our government deemed worthy because it conflicted with a US agenda so there were conveniently "no transport planes available to rent".
 
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Mike Richards

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Robb G
-There are more police officers in New York City then troops in the Canadian army.

-Our soldiers are using outdated and unsafe jeeps, helicopters and all kinds of other equipment.

-We sent our soldiers to the desert with green "camouflage" fatigues because we didn't have/couldn't afford the brown ones that would actually BE camouflage in the desert. They are wearing brown boots but green fatigues in Afghanistan

-With the government’s new order of medium armour military vehicles and abandonment of our tanks makes Canada the only country in the G8 without heavy armoured vehicles.

-When Canada decides to participate in any overseas mission, peacekeeping or otherwise we have to get permission from the US government to rent their big transport planes as we do not have the means to transport our equipment when needed. Which in the past has meant not being able to partake in missions that our government deemed worthy because it conflicted with a US agenda so there were conveniently "no transport planes available to rent".

-New york will always be a warzone

-Camouflage in the desert doesn't make much difference anyway

-Why exactly do we need tanks? Armour are sitting ducks anyway.

-Why own planes if they won't be used enough to make it worth while?


My 2C
 

Big Cheese

TRIBE Member
it's amazing how ill-informed the general public is with regards to the Canadian Armed Forces...

yes i agree that the liberals have been giving our boys n' girls in uniform a big thumb in the ass since they have been in power

less and less funding, causing more and more stress and cutting corners more and more (but not to the point to where we put peoples saftey @ risk, generally speaking except for the seakings)

seakings are flying coffins, they should have been phased out 10 years ago, period

the new CH-149's have many problems with getting replacement parts, and the proper training for the ave techs to maintain those choppers is unreal

the hercs flying out of greenwood, trenton and winnipeg are comming real close to equal hanger/fligh time, it's not that they are becomming old.. We just dont' have the cash for newer replacement parts n' training, etc...

but alot of the stuff i read in that article is kinda wishy-washy? Trenton to close in 10 years @ the same rate due to lack of funding *ROGLMAO* yeah whatever and the janes report in '03, correct me if i'm wrong but wasn't that a political push from the brits/yanks to get us to increase our military spending, and spend it with UK and US based companies?

either or

i have a real airforce bias btw, dont' know much about other stuff other then what i read here and there but it's time we start fixing Canadian Forces Bases up for the troops, start providing more programs for our troops stationed @ said bases, fixing and building new facilities FOR these troops (base-housing, rec-programs for base-brats, etc...) keep our recruiting drive as is because it's doing a good job and start pumping more $$$ into the 3 arms so they dont' have to struggle with grounding hercs, keeping subs afloat and keeping our grunts with the proper CDN gear so we don't have to borrow equipment from the yanks every deployment

rant over

the end
 

judge wopner

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Mike Richards
-New york will always be a warzone

-Camouflage in the desert doesn't make much difference anyway

-Why exactly do we need tanks? Armour are sitting ducks anyway.

-Why own planes if they won't be used enough to make it worth while?
My 2C

dude... im not sure if your serious or not...

camouflage: i dont think you need to make a case for camoflage considering every signle military uses some for of it fo r the last 60 years or so. which would u rather be wearing beige or dark green int he desert?

how dumb does that make us look when they see our own coutnry wont spend moeny on somthing so simple as a uniform.

armour: sitting ducks? how do you think we got around in bosnia? is it better to have light infantry just walking around with a paddle and some darts, shooing away the enemy?
amour has a purpose like anything else, we dont have it not because its outmoded but because we cant afford it.

and of course you need planes. to move all this around.
canada has troops on the ground in about 4 or 5 countires that have hot zones, we should have the ability to extract them if their lives were in some danger non?
 
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Robb G

TRIBE Promoter
Originally posted by Mike Richards
-New york will always be a warzone

-Camouflage in the desert doesn't make much difference anyway

-Why exactly do we need tanks? Armour are sitting ducks anyway.

-Why own planes if they won't be used enough to make it worth while?


My 2C

- I'm not going to dispute the fact that NYC is a "war zone" ;). It was just to illustrate the numbers of our troops compared to something else.

- In the desert where there is little natural shelter to hide behind or under, camouflage isn't as effective but how can you discredit blending in with the colour of the environment to become less visible. Why did we bother giving them the brown boots? Having them running around in dark coloured khakis in the desert doesn't only make them an easier target but is a huge extra strain on our men running around in the hot dersert sun in dark uniforms.

-Tanks aren't just mobile "big guns" to take out dangerous or hard to reach targets. They are protection and support for troops in a dangerous areas. Our troops without the tanks or in 20 year old LT jeeps are the sitting ducks.

-Having our own transport planes means making our own decissions and not having to always get permission from big brother USA.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Pakistan is gaining a verys stroong reception for its role in peace keeping. Chile has performed almost as many peace keeping operations as Canada.

We need to realize that Canada has not been a source of actual troupes in large numbers since Korea. We have smaller deployments in assoication with multi national forces. We all gain the respect and work togther. To us its a Canadian mission, however the Germans and the Pakistani's each view the same mission as there own.

Yes we need to maintain a military, however I support a smaller military. For international peace keeping missions we need to begin to intigrate the large population nations on a much more equal footing.
 

Chris

Well-Known TRIBEr
Being in the CDN military I can say the resources are not there. But many deficiency are being addressed since Ive been a member (since 1994). It took forever to get new uniforms for all of the Reserve units, helmets, and other items.

Training wise, its pretty much a question of resources, sometimes courses are cancelled, as well as exercises. But that hasn't changed, its pretty much status quo. But most courses are offered to those that qualify and sure some level of persistence to get those more "rare" ones.

The new unit uniforms, equipment is pretty top notch.

This includes:

Uniforms-CADPAT
Helmet-CADPAT
Load Carrying Vest
Backpack
Radios
etc

All of these were a must from an 'Infanter's' perspective.

I will give you the point about our MBT's. Given that we have no means of transporting these overseas, we would be "hard pressed" to use them in an emergency overseas OP. Our 'army' mostly use light armoured vehicles, LAV III IFV, Coyote Recce LAV "best in it's Class", Bisson LAV "turretless LAV" (used for MEDICVAC, CP, Mortar), M-113 Family (most will be upgraded) the others will be replaced by LAV III.

Our small arms are all top of the line compared to other NATO countries.

I think it comes down to how big dow we want our forces to be, whats an acceptable level?

What I mean by this is not just in terms of numbers, but also the growing "problem" of support personal per actual combat solider. I'm not sure of the ratio, but there is so much support, admin, etc for each actual combat solider. That quite simply our men and women who are actually in combat roles are being burned out.
 

judge wopner

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by ChrisD
Being in the CDN military I can say the resources are not there. But many deficiency are being addressed since Ive been a member (since 1994). It took forever to get new uniforms for all of the Reserve units, helmets, and other items.

Training wise, its pretty much a question of resources, sometimes courses are cancelled, as well as exercises. But that hasn't changed, its pretty much status quo. But most courses are offered to those that qualify and sure some level of persistence to get those more "rare" ones.

The new unit uniforms, equipment is pretty top notch.

This includes:

Uniforms-CADPAT
Helmet-CADPAT
Load Carrying Vest
Backpack
Radios
etc

All of these were a must from an 'Infanter's' perspective.

I will give you the point about our MBT's. Given that we have no means of transporting these overseas, we would be "hard pressed" to use them in an emergency overseas OP. Our 'army' mostly use light armoured vehicles, LAV III IFV, Coyote Recce LAV "best in it's Class", Bisson LAV "turretless LAV" (used for MEDICVAC, CP, Mortar), M-113 Family (most will be upgraded) the others will be replaced by LAV III.

Our small arms are all top of the line compared to other NATO countries.

I think it comes down to how big dow we want our forces to be, whats an acceptable level?

What I mean by this is not just in terms of numbers, but also the growing "problem" of support personal per actual combat solider. I'm not sure of the ratio, but there is so much support, admin, etc for each actual combat solider. That quite simply our men and women who are actually in combat roles are being burned out.

nice, an actual military person to give some insight,

where are u stationed and what is your rank and what not?
 

Robb G

TRIBE Promoter
Let it be known that I'm a little biased on the whole subject as I was born and raised a "base brat". Both my grandpas were in the army, my dad was an Ammo Tech in the army for 25 years and he now works as a civillian instructor for the military.
 
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